Arrest made in attempted ramming attack on Hasidic yeshiva students

Asghar Ali charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and yelling antisemitic slurs.

Screenshot of the attempted attack from Shomrim video

May 31, 2024 2:45 PM


The New York City Police Department arrested a man they say made antisemitic remarks while he drove a car toward Hasidic yeshiva students in Brooklyn, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported.

The police charged Asghar Ali, 58, with attempted murder as a hate crime and other charges after video surveillance footage posted by the Flatbush Shomrim showed a white sedan veering off the road and driving on the sidewalk toward the students.

The driver appeared to make multiple attempts to run over students at Mesivta Nachlas Yakov Vien Yeshiva, a school on Glenwood Road in East Flatbush. The students are shown running away. Police said no one was injured.

Ali’s roommate, Abdullah Mustafa, told the New York Daily News that Ali was mentally ill.

“He’s been to hospital many, many times — every eight to ten months,” Mustafa told the Daily News. “He kept a knife under his pillow. He’s afraid someone is out to get him.”

“I’ve never heard him say anything antisemitic,” Mustafa said. He described Ali as a Pakistani immigrant and cab driver.

As of May 21, antisemitic hate crimes were up 55% over this time last year, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said.

This week police also arrested a 12-year-old suspect on hate crimes charges on Wednesday, in connection with an assault on Hasidic boys in Williamsburg earlier this month, multiple news outlets reported.

In a video of the assault, the boys are seen playing on the sidewalk when another boy who was riding a bike nearby dismounts and proceeds to punch and kick two of the boys before going back on his bike and riding away.

Read more in Shtetl:
Police investigating assault on Hasidic boys in Williamsburg
New Williamsburg public school program seeks to combat antisemitism, other prejudice
What do public school students in NYC learn about Haredi culture?